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4 Reasons You Have Underdeveloped Rear Delts

    Your rear deltoids are one of the hardest muscles to build, and you need to be patient to see the results you are hoping for. Working towards aesthetically changing your body can take months, if not years. It is especially frustrating when you put in your all and don’t see significant progress. There could be many reasons you have underdeveloped rear delts.

    You may not be allowing your muscles to recover adequately, or you could be going too heavy. Holding your weights the wrong way could also result in a lack of progress. You may need a change to achieve the results you want. 

    Reasons You Have Underdeveloped Rear Delts

    Having an understanding of how to train properly is crucial to seeing progress. Exercising is a continuous learning journey; you must know how to listen to your body. See more tips in How To Build Bigger Traps Fast.

    The four reasons you have underdeveloped rear delts are:

      • Incorrect technique
      • The weights are too heavy
      • You aren’t allowing your muscles to rest effectively
      • You aren’t incorporating isometrics into your workout

    Proper training and nutrition are essential pieces to building stronger muscles.

    You need to understand the correct technique to use when focusing on building your rear delts.

    It is common to have underdeveloped delts as they are difficult to see while training. Many people tend to focus on lifting heavier weights over technique. 

    Check out the table below if you are in a hurry to see the product we recommend to help you with these exercises.

     

    1. Incorrect Technique

    When performing any exercise, your technique must be correct. Improper technique in the worst-case scenarios can lead to injuries; in the best-case scenario, improper technique will block you from achieving the desired results. 

    To focus on your rear delt, you should use an external rotation of your hand to ensure that you correctly allow your rear delt to be the focus of your exercise.

    For example, when training bent-over-flyes, your palms and wrists should be facing towards the ceiling, enabling your rear delts to be effectively trained. 

    It is best to incorporate exercises into your routine that restrict your other muscles – such as your upper traps – from assisting your rear delts in the movement. This ensures you use a technique that focuses solely on your rear delts. Learn more in Workouts to Get Bigger Delts.

     

    Lying Face Pulls

    Lying face pulls will restrict your upper traps from interfering with your movement and enable you to focus on your rear delts.

    You begin by finding a machine with a cable pulley and rope attachment. Lay flat on your back, and hold the rope attachment. 

    Have your palms facing towards the machine and bring the rope towards your face. 

     

    2. The Weights You Are Using Are Too Heavy

    The Weights You Are Using Are Too Heavy

    It might feel counterproductive to begin using a lighter weight to see results, but a common mistake many people make is overtraining their rear delts.

    Your delts need 48 to 72 hours to rest between training sessions, and when lifting weights that are too heavy other surrounding muscles will pick up the slack. 

    This could be why you train with a heavier weight but aren’t seeing any results. Your rear delts aren’t strong enough to benefit from a heavier weight, so your muscles will compensate. 

    When you are training with weights that are too heavy, it is also challenging to perform the correct technique, which can lead to injuries. Learn how to recover from injuries in our post Effective Stretches and Exercises to Relieve Shoulder Pain.

    As your rear delts are often undertrained, you don’t need to be using incredibly heavyweights to get the job done. 

    It is more effective to train with a lighter weight and focus on the correct technique to build up your rear delt muscles slowly. Learn more in our post Side Delt Exercises for a Stronger Lateral Deltoid.

    An easy exercise to do with a lighter weight is an underhand rear delt dumbbell raise. 

     

    Underhand Rear Delt Dumbbell Raise

    You can do an underhand rear delt dumbbell raise seated or standing, but it is best to do it seated.

    You can adjust the seat 45-degree incline or lie flat. The technique is the most significant difference between this exercise and the side dumbbell lateral raise. 

    Hold the dumbbell with an underhand grip, with your palms facing forwards.

    Slightly bend your arm with your elbow facing outwards and move your arms outwards. 

    Check out our top three recommended dumbells to help with this exercise.

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    Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (pair)
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    3. You Aren’t Allowing Your Muscles to Rest Effectively.

    You Aren't Allowing Your Muscles to Rest Effectively.

    To see the results of your labor, you must allow your delts to rest effectively to allow your muscles to grow. You must incorporate a balanced program, such as a push, pull, legs (PPL) schedule. Also, see A Legs and Shoulders Workout for Building Strength.

    You need to train your muscles in a balanced way to ensure you effectively allow your deltoids to grow the way you desire. 

    While it is tempting to push yourself, you could be doing more harm than good.

    Finding a balance is key to ensuring that you are not over or undertraining your rear delts. Your muscles will require time to repair after a training session, and this is how your muscles grow. Learn more about the right shoulder workout routine in our post, the Ultimate Shoulder Workout Routine.

    In layman’s terms, your muscles will slightly tear when you train them, especially when you push yourself. To grow, they need a break between training sessions, which is why it is vital not to use a weight that is too heavy. 

    Rest days help keep you motivated and avoid feeling burnt out and forced to go to the gym when you are too sore or tired.

    Rest days are sometimes more effective than squeezing in an extra session. 

     

    4. You Aren’t Incorporating Isometrics Into Your Workout.

    Isometric exercises are beneficial as you can apply the maximum force to a muscle, like your rear delt, that often gets ignored.

    When isometrics are incorporated into a well-balanced and focused exercise plan, it can help strengthen your rear delts and increase your range of motion. 

    Isometrics alone won’t effectively build stronger and bigger rear delt muscles, but it can aid you in slowly and effectively growing your rear delts.

    Isometrics are effective because they teach you how to correctly contract your muscles and help you “mind-muscle” connect. 

    Many people have underdeveloped rear delts.

    It is sometimes best to incorporate isometric exercises into your routine, enabling you to strengthen your rear delt and stabilize the joint. 

    An example of a rear delt isometric exercise is the wall lean

     

    Isometric Rear Delt Wall Lean

    The wall lean is not focused on intense muscle building but rather on increasing the strength in your rear delts to help you lift heavier weights as you progress.

    Find a solid wall to lean on with your back. You should extend your feet in front of you. 

    The further away your legs are extended, the more intensely you will feel this exercise.

    Use your forearms to support yourself by placing them flat against your sides throughout this exercise. Your fists should be closed with your thumb pointing down. 

    Focus on your posture by keeping your shoulders down and back, and engage your core throughout the exercise. See more in Exercises To Correct Rounded Shoulders Posture.

     

    Conclusion

    conclusion underdeveloped rear delts

    As discussed, there could be many reasons you have underdeveloped rear delts.

    It is not rare to see people with underdeveloped rear delts caused by poor form and incorrect techniques.

    Another reason you could have underdeveloped rear delts is that you are not giving your muscles enough time to rest and grow. Rest days are a crucial aspect of your training program. 

    Incorporating exercises that restrict your muscles from taking over from your rear delts will help you to assess how heavy you can lift and ensure that you are correctly focusing on your rear delts throughout the exercise.

    Remember to incorporate a balanced workout and focus on your muscles through each exercise. 

    Also, see How to Split Shoulder Workouts Between Push and Pull Days and How Often Should You Train Shoulders in a Week for more shoulder workout tips.

    Last update on 2022-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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    James Wright

    James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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